New Eczema Treatment: Atopic Dermatitis Treatment from a Memphis Dermatologist
George Woodbury Jr. M.D. (08/22/2023)
One of the most common skin conditions worldwide is what Dermatologists call Atopic Dermatitis or Eczema. Often also called Fall Itch or Winter Itch, it can occur in all seasons. Let’s take a look at what’s new in Eczema Treatment, my perspective being that of a Memphis Dermatologist for the last 31 years.
So what is Eczema or Atopic Dermatitis? It’s an itchy, dry skin condition that tends to develop in childhood, but it can also surface in adulthood. It tends to favor the arms, legs, neck, and face, but it can occur anywhere. The rash and itching of Eczema can certainly make people miserable, but the good news is that increasingly effective Eczema Therapy is now available.
The first step with a rash or skin eruption is to consider seeing a healthcare provider, a doctor, or a Board-certified Dermatologist.
As a practicing Dermatologist for the last 33 years, Eczema Treatment can start with considering doing a test called a skin biopsy or excision – particularly if the diagnosis is in doubt. We also consider checking for chemicals that one could be allergic to – causing flares on the condition – through what’s called Allergy Patch Testing – a type of Skin Allergy Testing involving coming into the office three times in one week – to be checked for skin reactions to common preservatives, fragrances, components of latex, and metals. Identifying chemical triggers can lead to effective ways of avoiding these trigger factors.
Many Board-certified Dermatologists like myself design Eczema Treatment to include prescription topical steroid creams and ointments, often giving quick relief from itching and burning. (The word “topical” means a medicine that’s applied “on top of” the skin.) Other options include steroid-free products called Protopic® Ointment (tacrolimus), Elidel® Cream (pimecrolimus), and a promising agent called Eucrisa® Ointment (crisaborole).
We also sometimes consider a short course of oral steroid tablets, called prednisone, or a steroid shot. These can give patients much more prompt relief from their symptoms or rash. For more: https://www.Rheumderm.com/eczema-atopic-dermatitis.
Promising new therapies for eczema include Dupixent® or dupilumab monoclonal antibody injections and two new oral tablets – what are called non-steroidal JAK-1 inhibitors – Upadacitnib (Rinvoq®) and Abrocitinib (Cibinqo®). We generally monitor these treatments with bloodwork, TB testing, and sometimes Chest X-rays.
It’s quite important to try to correct the environmental problems that promote flares of eczema: use of overly drying soaps or failure to use skin lubricants or moisturizers:
We tend to recommend fragrance-free soaps, such as Cetaphil® Cleanser or Dove® for Sensitive Skin Soap. Another option is a soap that’s available from Big River Silk Skincare™ Inc., a company of which I’m the President, is a cleanser called AmberSoy™ Soap Gel (www.Bigriversilkskinare.com).
Helpful options for skin lubricants or moisturizers include Lubriderm®, Moisturel®, Aveeno®, and several new moisturizers: GlycoShea™ Hand&Body Cream, GlycoShea Hand&Body Lotion, GlycoShea Facial&Neck Cream, and GlycoShea Facial&Neck Lotion, all available from Big River Silk Skincare Inc. (1-901-753-0168; https://www.Bigriversilkskincare.com). The GlycoShea products tend to be helpful because they’re fragrance-free, with no dyes, no formaldehyde, and no parabens, being derived from Refinded Shea Butter, acting as Antiwrinkle Cream because of their Alpha Hydroxy Acid Glycolic Acid.
So, if you have an undiagnosed rash that’s been stubborn, consider seeing a Board-certified Dermatologist. My own Memphis Dermatology practice is with Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates, in Cordova, TN, or you can find a Dermatologist closer to you by going to the American Academy of Dermatology website, AAD.org, then plugging your zip code into the “Find a Dermatologist” tab. Never itch in silence!
George Woodbury Jr. M.D.
Board-certified Dermatologist with Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates
President of Big River Silk Skincare
8143 Walnut Grove Road
Cordova TN 38018